20 February 2013

Nigeria: Jonathan - D-8 Agreements Will Strengthen Relations

President Goodluck Jonathan has said the agreements and decisions taken at the recent D-8 Summit in Pakistan will help to strengthen existing relations among members of the group.

Speaking to the new Pakistani High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lt. General Mohamad Ashraf Saleem, one of the three new ambassadors who presented their letters of credence at the State House Tuesday, President Jonathan said: "I am glad that you are coming soon after the D-8 Summit, because we plan to take advantage of the decisions of the group to strengthen our relations."

The president, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said Nigeria wanted to leverage on the long history of bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Pakistan to improve agriculture, create more jobs and increase food supply.

The new High Commissioner, said he looked forward to working with the president to improve relations between the two nations.

In a separate audience with Mr. David Jonathan Richardson of Australia, Jonathan said he looked forward to more cooperation and investment from Australia, especially in the solid minerals sector.

He also expressed appreciation for Australia's pledge of $50 million to support Nigeria's polio eradication programme, and restated the administration's commitment to eradicate polio in Nigeria by 2015.

Also speaking to Mr. Joao Andre Pinto Dias Lima of Brazil, the president said the forthcoming visit of the Brazilian President to Abuja would enable closer relations between Nigeria and Brazil.

The new envoys pledged to do their best to strengthen relations with Nigeria during their tenure in the country.

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